Heidi Jensen at Ball State University

Sit Comfortably in a Darkened Room and Think of Nothing: Recent Drawings by Heidi Jensen

In Claude Cahun’s monologue “Helen the Rebel”, the narrative of Helen of Troy is reimagined and retold. Rather than existing as a passive object of desire, Cahun’s Helen collaborates with her husband Menelaus to orchestrate the Trojan War. Her renowned beauty is the result of a training process. Helen relates instructions from Menelaus on how to become beautiful: “. . . sit comfortably in a darkened room and think of nothing. Just that, every day, for a few minutes – gradually and indefinitely increasing the time”. The work in this exhibition casts an oblique eye at subjects homely and humble, extravagant and decorative, and to the biological forces that create transformation in organic life forms.

A thread running throughout my work is confusion of the animate and inanimate, an approach to form leading back to the Surrealists. Brushes, the subjects of many of these drawings, are humble objects that carry suggestions of utility and service. They are tools, used to clear away unwanted matter and ward off compromising, unruly elements. These anthropomorphic forms hover between the male and female, they contain tongue-in-cheek references to physical anatomy. They act without the guidance of a hand, like the endlessly toiling, enchanted marching brooms in Disney’s Fantasia. Drawn with toilet brushes and dusters in mind, these brushes remain unrepentantly bristly, hairy and lowly, while ensnared or beset by decorative ruffles. The drawings are made on rough, dyed paper with gouache, a medium chosen for its flat, opaque qualities. Graphic line is employed to invoke subtle humor and comics.
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Blusher, Gouache, Charcoal and Pastel on Khadi paper, 30″ x 22″, 2016
Images copyright of Heidi Jensen, 2016
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Double Scrub, Gouache and Pastel on Khadi paper, 30″ x 22″, 2016
Images copyright of Heidi Jensen, 2016
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Scrubber, Gouache and Pastel on Khadi paper, 30″ x 22″, 2016
Images copyright of Heidi Jensen, 2016
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Girlie, Gouache, Charcoal and Pastel on Khadi paper, 30″ x 22″, 2016
Images copyright of Heidi Jensen, 2016
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Flee, Gouache and Charcoal on Khadi paper, 30″ x 22″, 2016
Images copyright of Heidi Jensen, 2016

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Molt, Gouache, Charcoal and Pastel on Khadi paper, 30″ x 22″, 2016
Images copyright of Heidi Jensen, 2016
Exhibition Shot, Scrubber Mediumb
Exhibition Shot 1 Med

About the artist

Heidi Jensen is an Associate Professor of Art at Ball State University, where she specializes in the instruction of drawing. She earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BFA from the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Recent work has been included in the Great Lakes Drawing Biennial at Eastern Michigan University, in Drawing Never Dies at RedLine Center for Contemporary Art in Denver, CO, in Forms of Adornment: Flesh and the Erotic at Orbit Galleries, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, and in The Base Line: An Exhibition on Drawing at the ARC Gallery and Educational Foundation in Chicago, IL. She is a fellow of several residency programs, including the Millay Colony in New York and La Napoule Foundation in France. Work from this project is featured in the October/November 2017 West edition of New American Paintings. Heidi divides her time between Muncie, Indiana and Salt Lake City, Utah. She collects brushes and dusters of all shapes and sizes. 

Sit Comfortably in a Darkened Room and Think of Nothing: Recent Drawings by Heidi Jensen

November 16 –  November 30, 2017

Atrium Gallery, Ball State University, Muncie IN

FRAMING SPECIFICATIONS AND ADVICE

Capture0047-584 101AH05_SPACER75_700

METRO GALLERY FRAME

Standard Profile: 101
Type: Floating Gallery Frame
Wood & Finish: ash frame with pickled white finish
Purchasing Option: joined wood frame with matching splines
Custom Wood Spacer: 3/4″ wood frame spacer
Custom Wood Strainer: 3/4″ wood strainer
Custom Frame Acrylic: regular acrylic cut to size
Framing Advice: fitting gallery frames




Michael Bentley "New Works on Paper" at Gruen Galleries

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“Walking out to the shore every morning and looking out over the sea, I am still in awe of its beauty” — Michael Bentley

With these new works, Bentley continues to explore abstract seascapes, with his unconventional use of gouache. Working with the medium’s brilliance and range of opacities and the intricate use of white pigment, there is a signature luminosity and reflective quality inherent to his earlier works. Bentley pushes the medium and the paper with the number of washes along with the size of the works, which are infused with countless layers applied over months to build the tranquil complexions evoking expanse and calm.

The rich texture and subtleties are not lost under glass, as these works are treated with a unique archival finish and can be taken in without distraction. This notably enhances the feeling of being drawn into the image, especially given the scale of the unusually large pieces, which size up to 48 by 96 inches.

Though not site specific, the imagery summons a stirring familiarity of place that truly resonates. For Bentley, living on the pristine coast of Nova Scotia with the North Atlantic’s intense transforming beauty, provides an endless multitude of palettes, moods and movement to draw from.

Bentley paints from memory and describes that working with this medium generates a daily, metamorphic process, much like the sea that inspires.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Bentley was born in Wisconsin in 1957 and currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has exhibited in galleries and museums across the US, and his work can be found in numerous corporate and private collections.

Michael Bentley
New Works on Paper
November 3, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Gruen Galleries
Chicago, IL

FRAMING SPECIFICATIONS AND ADVICE

maple frame with graphite finish
maple frame with graphite finish

 

METRO GALLERY FRAME

Standard Profile: 115

Type: Standard gallery frame

Wood and Finish:  Maple frame with graphite finish

Purchasing Option:  Joined frame with matching splines

Strainer:  3/4″ custom wood strainer with crossbars

Framing Advice: Fitting gallery frames